The crossover classical singer and son of Andrea Bocelli on his upcoming self-titled debut album and the importance of authenticity
Crossover classical musician Matteo Bocelli is embarking on a new stage of his career with his debut album, Matteo. Ahead of this music collection, the singer-songwriter has released a string of successful songs, including Close, Solo, and All Because of Love/Anime Imperfette from the hit Netflix series From Scratch.
Additionally, Bocelli co-wrote Fall On Me, a song he recorded with his father, Andrea Bocelli, for Andrea’s 2018 album Sì. The album went on to debut at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Matteo will be released later this month through Capitol Records and comes after 2022’s A Family Christmas, which was likewise recorded by Matteo alongside Andrea, as well as Matteo’s sister, Virginia Bocelli.
For You, one of the album’s most powerful songs, dropped in June 2023 and was followed by Chasing Stars, a touching ballad penned by Ed and Matthew Sheeran. Next up, Bocelli will kick off his first-ever headline tour with a concert in Berlin this month, and it will conclude with a show in Dubai this December.
In our Q&A, Matteo talks to us about teaming up with esteemed collaborators the importance of authenticity, and his years-long songwriting journey leading up to his first solo album…
Congratulations on another strong release with For You! Can you tell us about how it was to join forces with the songwriting/production team Red Triangle?
“It was an incredible experience to collaborate with Red Triangle for this song. I instantly connected with this song because I felt it had the right energy and style that I had been looking forward to discovering. I have always thought of myself choosing and singing songs that are more romantic and ballads. This type of song, with a good vibe that really carries through the entire song, is what I had been looking for, and I think it turned out great.”
What were the writing sessions like for Matteo?
“There were never individual writing sessions that were planned specifically for the album. I have been writing music over the last three years, so the final album consists of many different writing sessions involving different musicians and composers. During these sessions, we always experimented with different sounds and ways to use my voice in different ways. But one idea I always believe in, and what I try to focus on during any writing session, is not rushing or forcing anything.
“I find that the best songs are born from spending multiple days with composers and artists in a relaxed and comfortable environment. It is there that we are able to have natural conversations and exchange thoughts to create something born from a true inspiration or theme that is shared between everyone. This allowed us to create songs that are natural products from real-life experiences and conversations about topics that really matter to us.”
Where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs?
“I find that inspiration for any song comes from real-life experiences. But it is looking beyond your own experiences and considering other people’s experiences too — having conversations with other people, listening to other people’s stories about their own lives, reading books. These are all different ways that you can discover ideas about love and friendship and relationships. I think this is why so many songs end up having an overall theme that deals with love. It is an emotion that really resonates with everyone and can be applied to so many relationships in life.”
How did the album evolve throughout the process of creating it?
“I don’t think the album necessarily evolved throughout the creation process, but rather my own thoughts and inspirations are what evolved. When it came time to finalise the album and choose the songs that would be included, I was choosing the songs that are most authentic and representative of the current events happening in my life right now. I have been writing songs for more than three years, so choosing songs that related to my current life and what I want to share with people in this moment is what I focused on.”
How would you describe the experience of working with collaborators for the album such as Ed and Matthew Sheeran, Jesse Shatkin, Stuart Crichton and more?
“I feel so privileged to be working with so many incredible artists for my first album. I was lucky enough to get to work with Jesse Shatkin for Solo and Close, which is a really special memory for me because those are two of my first releases. I also enjoyed being able to work with someone I consider a great friend and talent, Stuart Crichton, for my single Close. I am so fortunate to have worked on a song with Ed and Matt Sheeran for my first album. I have followed Ed since the beginning and have always been a huge fan. I still remember the first time I saw him when he was the opening act for Taylor Swift in Toronto [during Swift’s 2013 Red tour]. I hope everyone will really appreciate this song.”
Overall, what do you hope listeners take away from the album?
“I’ve spent the past year or so working on my debut album. It’s been a period of huge creative and emotional development, and I’m really excited for you all to finally hear it. Working on this album was a great outlet for me during tricky times. I was able to put all my feelings and emotions to paper and dive into this project. My biggest hope is that I’m able to deliver beautiful music that conveys my emotions during this new and exciting time in my life. Hopefully, the audience will get a chance to know me a bit better.”
How does it feel to be setting out on your first-ever headline tour?
“I am so excited for the upcoming tour. The album and project is something we have been working towards for a very long time, so to be able to see everything come full circle is very rewarding. “
For you, how does performing for an audience compare to writing and recording music?
“Before stepping on stage to perform a new song, there is so much work and time put into everything. I really enjoy the creative process involved with songwriting, being able to express yourself freely, without any judgement. I am more worried about others’ opinions when I am in the middle of the recording process. I become obsessed with all of the details. I want to make sure everything is as perfect as possible. Once the song is complete and finally ready to be shared with an audience, that is when I feel quite calm. The hard part is over, and the fun part begins. Performing for an audience is the biggest reward I can ask for.”
How did David Foster influence your decision to become a professional singer?
“David Foster is the very first person who believed in me. Not only did he believe in me, but he was the first person who showed interest in producing me. But at that moment, my father didn’t want me to start working in the music industry because he thought I was still too young at the time. David has been a great friend of my family, and I have known him since I was a little boy. It was incredible to see him in action when he was working with my father, and I still am fascinated watching him work today. It is nice to know that I can always go to him for any advice I may need or any artistic suggestions.”
How do you feel your past experiences in the music industry have prepared you for the next stage of your career?
“I am very fortunate to have had such incredible experiences so early on in my career. I am grateful for these past opportunities as I believe they have exposed me to so much and have allowed me to learn a great deal in a short amount of time.”
What’s the best advice, personally or professionally, that you’ve ever received?
“I think the best advice I try to follow in both my personal and professional life is to always be your authentic self. There may be people who want you to change or want to influence you to become someone you are not. Staying true to yourself is so important, especially in music. Music is about authenticity and believing in what you do. If you lose that authenticity and can’t be comfortable with yourself and the work you produce, you’ll never truly succeed.”
What are your current and future goals as a singer and songwriter?
“My biggest goal this past year has been to finish and release my first album. I have been working hard on this project over the course of the last two years, so seeing it complete and finished is going to be a huge accomplishment for me! As for goals I hope to achieve in my singing career, I think the biggest thing I can hope to accomplish is creating genuine music that others can enjoy and find meaning in.”
To explore Matteo Bocelli’s music, pre-save or pre-order Matteo, and check out his upcoming tour dates, visit matteobocelli.it